Until your thoughts are linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. With the majority the barque of thought is allowed to drift upon the ocean of life. Aimlessness is a vice, and such drifting must not continue for you who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction.
If you have no central purpose in your life, you may fall as easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pitying, all of which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power-evolving universe.
You should conceive of a legitimate purpose in your heart, and set out to accomplish it. You should make this purpose the centralizing point of your thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to your nature at the time being; but whichever it is, you should steadily focus your thought forces upon the object which you have set before yourself.
You should make this purpose your supreme duty, and should devote yourself to its attainment, not allowing your thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought.
Even if you fail again and again to accomplish your purpose (as you necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of your true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph.
If you are not prepared for the apprehension of a great purpose, you should fix your thoughts upon the faultless performance of your duty, no matter how insignificant your task may appear. Only in this way can the thoughts be gathered and focused, and resolution and energy be developed, which being done, there is nothing which may not be accomplished.
The weakest soul, knowing its own weakness, and believing this truth - that strength can only be developed by effort and practice, will at once begin to exert itself, and adding effort to effort, patience to patience, and strength to strength, will never cease to develop, and will at last grow divinely strong.
As the physically weak person can make themselves strong by careful and patient training, so the person of weak thoughts can make themselves strong by exercising in right thinking.
To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.
Having conceived of your purpose, you should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right nor to the left. Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded; they are disintegrating elements which break up the straight line of effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless.
Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything, and never can. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.
The will to do springs from the knowledge that you can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and if you encourage them and do not slay them, you will thwart yourself at every step.
When you have conquered doubt and fear, you have conquered failure. Your every thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome. Your purposes are seasonably planted, and they bloom and bring forth fruit which does not fall prematurely to the ground.
Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force; when you know this you are ready to become something higher and stronger than a mere bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating sensations; if you do this you have become the conscious and intelligent wielder of your mental powers.
Chapter Four - Quotations & Excerpts